How Easily to Make a Harvest Apron or Gathering Apron


If you’re looking for a harvest apron pattern, you’ve come to the right place. This tutorial is for the sewing-challenged among us.

Me modeling my handmade harvest apron I made from scrap fabric I had on hand.

As any gardener knows, collecting the freshly-harvested produce is the best part of gardening. When it is time to reap what you’ve sown, a cute washable basket will hold all your fresh produce, but a harvest apron or gathering apron is even better. Plus, it doubles as a gardening apron to keep those knees clean when you’re working in the soil.

My apologies for the grainy photos. I am due to make a new apron and will be sure to take new photos when I make it.

I mentioned in the Unpaper Towel tutorial that I am not much of a seamstress. I rarely measure, I never iron, and I hardly pin. My method is this is what I want it to look like and if I do it this way, it might just work. That being said, I’m going to tell you how I made my DIY harvest apron and tell you what I wish I had done differently. 

How to Make Your Harvest Apron

Don’t worry, this tutorial is an absolute breeze.

Step #1: Prepared the Body of the Apron

First, you need two pieces of material. As far as measurements, I made my first mistake here. 30″ wide was perfect for my size 8 frame, but 30″ long (instead of my 36″) would have made for a better length.

Fabric pieces cut for the harvest apron.

For the width you want it to reach from hip bone to hip bone and have plenty of fabric to gather. You want one fabric to be a “pretty” cotton or linen and one to be a heavier-weight fabric like muslin or duck cloth. Cut both to your desired dimensions. Sew sides and bottom using 1/2″ seam allowance, but leave the top open.

Step #2: Polish Up the Body of the Apron

Once you have finished sewing the three sides, trim the corners, turn, and top stitch. Again, you want to leave the top open. You can do your topstitching at any depth you prefer. I actually did two rows because I just felt it looked prettier that way.

Cut the corners of the apron fabric before turning and topstitching.

I forgot to photograph the next step, but I captured it in a picture for a later step. Basically, using the old-fashioned needle and thread, you want to do a wide running stitch along the top of your apron.

Step #3: Make the Waistband

Cut another piece of fabric that is 8″ wide and long enough to fit along the top of the apron and around your waist and have enough to tie. This will be your sash.

The sash of the apron ironed into shape.

With your iron (yes, I actually ironed), fold in the edges by 1/2″ and then fold in half and iron. If you are wise, you’ll take this opportunity to hem the raw edges, if not, you’ll join me in hand sewing at the end.

Step #4: Create Gathers and Pin the Waistband

Find the center of your sash and place it at your belly button. Mark where your hip bones are located, making sure that things stay even. I marked my areas with my kids’ chalk.

Next, find the approximate center of your apron. This is where things get tricky… You created an “envelope” when you did your sash. You want to put the center point of your apron inside the center of the sash. About 1″ in works well.

The sash pinned in place onto the apron body.

Pin securely (yes, I used pins too). Next, pin the sides of the apron in the same way at the hip markings. From there, play around with the pleats/gathers and pin every 2-3″.

Step #5: Attach the Waistband

Here you can see my running stitch pulled so it gathers. You can also see how it fits right into the pocket we created.

A running stitch in place to gather the harvest apron.

Sew from the far end of the sash, across the apron making sure you catch all layers, and to the other far end of the sash. You can do another line of stitching to reinforce the seam if you wish.

Step #6: Create the Gathering Pocket

Now comes the buttonholes. I had never actually used that function on the sewing machine and had to google how it was done. If you need help, well… there were no good tutorials. Just hope your machine has A/C B and D labeled and use them in alphabetical order.

You will need four buttonholes in all. One in each bottom corner and two in the middle. I used 1″ for all measurements here. The holes are 1″ long, the corner ones are 1″ from the side and bottom, and the middle ones are 1″ apart and 1″ from the bottom. This is not an exact science, so don’t worry too much about things here. The point is to have a hole you can run your cord through to tie the apron up.

Button holes for gathering the apron into a pocket.

Securely fasten the ribbon (either purchased or made from your fabric) in the middle of the waistband. You will use this ribbon to hold the weight of the stuff in your apron, so make sure it’s stitched securely.

To Use Your Harvest Apron

To use your epic harvest apron, simply lift up the bottom and run the ends of the cord through the outside holes and then the inside holes. Tie tight and you are ready for hands-free harvesting. Use the pocket for your pruners or snips.

Your amazing new gathering apron is machine-washable, so don’t worry about getting it dirty. It will quickly become one of the essential tools on your homestead.

A pinterest-friendly graphic for my homemade harvest apron/gathering apron pattern.

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  1. Love the concept of your pattern and thank you for taking the time to share it. In the picture, it appears the bottom corners are sewn to the sides but my understanding from the instructions is that the cord from the center front wasteland just goes through the buttonhole in the corner then through one of the center buttonholes and back to the top to tie. Is this correct? Thank you for clearing this up for me. I’m excited to make one.

  2. jane kelly says:

    This is exactly what I’ve been looking for – thank you! Tell me though is there a minimum length for the ribbon?

  3. Thanks so much for the pattern, I made this using the 30″ for the length and at the bottom added extra buttonholes for a total of 10 across the bottom, 2 at bottom center, 2 at bottom corners, & 2 at 15″ from bottom corners, this created a neat pleated fold look and works very well for someone that is a size 12 & 5’7″ tall.

  4. Sara Brooks says:

    We are blueberry farmers and our pickers like to pick them in the tails of their t-shirts. this looks like just the thing to make for them to wear. Cute, easy to sew and washable. Thanks for your pattern and instructions. The Farm at Blueberry Hill, Donalds, SC.

  5. Lydia Psomiadis says:

    Beautiful person you. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Laura Jones says:

    Just made two of these!! One for me and one for a friend. Thanks for sharing. The instructions where very easy to follow.

  7. Valarie C says:

    It’s adorable apron. What is the length inches to be cut for pattern? 30″ or 36″ I’m confused.

  8. OH my…this is so cute!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  9. I have been looking for a pattern like this one. Thank you for posting. 🙂